Curios About: Sa-Brina-Ah-Ah by Leah Hewson

Sa-Brina-Ah-Ah By Leah Hewson Oil paint on canvas, 22″ x 18″

1. This work is about . . . the play and effect of elements in contrast. Where this painting is primarily realised in its traditional methods of literal likeness through oil painting, it is also distinctly described through stereoscopy, which is a modern method of creating the illusion of depth. The contemporary subject appears demure and regal in her presence. This is a common position seen in traditional portraits, 

but she wears a hat positioned amusingly on top of her head, adding humour to the entire composition.

2. I made this work because . . . I enjoy humour in my work and thought this subject had engaging content, with the juxtaposition between the old and new. I wanted to create a challenge for myself as a painter of the figure. The three-dimensional effect adds a broad spectrum of intense colour, which is an interesting contrast with the neutral colours of the figure and background. The overlapping image on itself through stereoscopy challenges the creative eye to unsee the figure in its entirety.

3. I hope that when people see this work, they will . . . enjoy the composition light-heartedly and identify with the analytical approach of adding the three-dimensionality to a traditionally executed portrait.

4. In terms of art history, this work . . . is reminiscent of traditional Renaissance portraiture, but is represented in a contemporary manner. The position of the figure and intensity of colour are particularly reminiscent of Jan Van Eyck‘s portraits. Chiaroscuro plays a considerable role in this painting, as the light is focused on the figure.

5. You can see my work . . . on my website, on Facebook and on Instagram: #leahhewsonart.

Curios [sic] About is a series featuring works by Dublin artists, curated for us by our friends at the Square in the Circle blog, and hosted there as well as here.

Each artist is asked to submit an image of one work and answer a set of questions about it. We’d love it if you’d submit something you’ve made.

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Square in the Circle: Square in the Circle is a blog featuring responses to contemporary art. You can find it at

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